We have been treated to some unbelievable tennis over the last 12 days. Unexpected results in both the women’s semifinals proves that there is not a lot of gap between the seeded and unseeded players in terms of ability and on a give day, anyone can beat anyone. That is what makes this sport so exciting to watch.
The semifinal between Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem is billed to be the curtain raiser for an epic rivalry. They already played against each other at Roland Garros but never in a semifinal of a grand slam. This is one rivalry that promises so many great matches in the future. The nerves were evident in the first set with both players losing serve in the first couple of games. Thiem could not get any sort of rhythm on his first serve, gifting a crucial break at 3-3 and another at 3-5 to lose the first set. The second set continued in the same fashion with both players exchanging breaks to level at 3-3. With both players struggling on serve, there was no clear advantage for anyone. Thiem broke for 4-3 but could not serve out the set without drama. Zverev hit an incredible smash from way behind the court to create a break chance. Thiem composed himself to win the next 3 points and took the second set. The third set saw a much better consistency on serve from both and resulted in a tiebreak which Thiem won comfortably. With both playing a high level of tennis it seemed that the match would go into the fifth set during the fourth set tiebreak but Thiem was able to hold his. The Austrian hit a fantastic cross court forehand and then a sublime volley to finish an absorbing match against a gritty opponent. He is through to his first Australian Open final, where he will face the ultimate challenge of Novak Djokovic. It will be the hardest test yet for the talented Austrian. He is only getting better and he is too good not to win a grandslam.